Craft Brew Alliance today announced it would increase brewing capacity at its Widmer Brothers brewing facility in Portland, Ore. as part of a $10 million expansion project.
In addition to adding 200,000 barrels of capacity and increasing total output to 750,000 barrels at its North Russell Street brewery, CBA said it would also complete a “significant brew house enhancement” and construct a new 10-barrel innovation brewery.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to continue expanding in our hometown,” brewery co-founder Rob Widmer said in a statement. “For 31 years in the brewing business, Kurt and I have prided ourselves on smart growth, investing in building this great community, and always focusing on quality above all else. We feel that by keeping our expansion within our current footprint and bringing the pilot brewery to the main brewery campus, we will do just that: make more, quality beer and continue to innovate.”
The brewery expansion project is expected to be complete by early 2017, and the new innovation brewery will be operational towards the end of 2015, according to a company release.
CBA said it plans to add new fermenters, bright beer tanks, and a second filtration line while “extending existing tanks to increase cooling capacity.” Additional enhancements throughout the brew house are also being made to increase production efficiency, the company said.
CBA cited the recent “resurgence” of its flagship Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen as well as expected growth for Upheaval IPA and Replay Session IPA as the impetus for the expansion. 2014 shipments for Hefeweizen grew nearly 9 percent in Oregon last year at a time when Oregon brewers sold more than 1.6 million barrels, the company said.
This latest development marks the sixth time that Widmer has expanded its brewing operations in Portland since launching in 1984.
Additional insight into the expansion will be shared at a media roundtable with CBA executives, scheduled for Wednesday afternoon during this week’s Craft Brewers Conference, being held in Portland, Ore.